Twitter – Build your Brand and Watch your Follower Count Grow (Part One)

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The influence of Twitter is irrepressible. Whether you are on there to promote and grow your business or for personal use, there is a wealth of benefits to exploit and enjoy. The reported 554.75 million active registered Twitter users speaks for itself and validates the countless possibilities this ubiquitous social platform provides.

Twitter is a facility that is becoming increasing important for businesses. It is no exaggeration that a well-planned social media campaign can help companies survive and ultimately prosper. For individuals and organisations alike it is essential that you establish your own brand voice through your Twitter output and if you do it well you are likely to see your follower count steadily rise.

In the first half of this feature we take a look at why it is in the best interests of businesses to take advantage of Twitter and how they can utilise an effective Twitter campaign.

Why do businesses need followers?

Twitter is such a fantastic device to tap into and could even be likened to having your own channel for people to tune into. It is desirable for companies to have control over their output and connections and Twitter is ideal for helping businesses shape their own following and to build brand presence and authority. It is said that 33 per cent of Twitter users follow a brand. While you may have seen someone publicly criticise a company on Twitter the good news is that 79 per cent of users are more likely to recommend brands they follow.

Customer loyalty 

By opening up this means of communication with your consumers you can encourage brand loyalty by showing customers they are valued. To ensure this level of loyalty you should respond in due course to any questions consumers may ask and issues they may raise with your service. Establishing this trust takes time but is definitely worth the effort. Customer loyalty is particularly fundamental to small businesses, of which 70 per cent are reportedly on Twitter.

Free marketing like this is an absolute gift for brands and it also provides you with an easy way to take a look at what your competitors are doing via their profiles. You can promote your offers through the posts you make. Asking your followers to enter competitions will increase interactivity while also opening you up to new users. One way to generate greater interaction is to stipulate that the only users eligible to win a prize are those who retweet the relevant post to their followers, as well as having to follow your brand. Here is an example of how Nike have done this:

 

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How can a brand attract more followers?

In order to make the most of your company’s Twitter account you should refrain from regarding this social platform as a minor tool and instead incorporate it into a much larger segment of the business’s presence. An easy place to start is to have the link to your twitter profile clearly displayed on the company website. Ensure that your tweets are also visible on the website via a plug-in. Tweeting regularly is key because people are less likely to click the follow button if they can see the updates are infrequent.

The aim is to create a stream of consistent but well-considered and thought out posts. It is also important that companies convey personality through their tweets. For this reason automated tweets should be shunned because they are detrimental to the connection you are trying to establish with your followers. When events take place within your industry there is likely to be a hashtag for people to discuss it so make yourself part of the industry ‘buzz’ and join the conversation.

Offline promotion 

Twitter has such relevance now that all businesses should be going to great lengths to promote their profile offline. Whether it is on business cards, brochures, packaging, or even company vehicles, make sure your Twitter ‘handle’ is clearly visible.

The good news is that it is not only businesses that are able to reap the rewards of savvy Twitter use. The platform is there for anyone to get their name known and build up a strong online following. In the second half of our guide to Twitter promotion we will focus on how to make the most of your personal Twitter account.